‘Here, take a shot.’ I held up a shot glass to Sly. ‘It’s tequila.’
‘Dude, I already had a shot. Funny thing, you gave it to me.’
‘Well,’ I shrugged, ‘you got anything against taking another shot?’ I asked.
‘Drink up man, it’s your night.’ someone said.
Sly looked at me a moment before. Taking the glass and raising it to his lips to shouts of “Drink! Drink! Drink!” from the others in the room. He tossed the drink back and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. The room erupted in applause. It was on.
Scar placed a straight backed chair in the centre of the room and I led Sly there.
‘Sit man, enjoy tonight. Tomorrow, your life as you know it will be over.’
Phantom got the music started first stripper, the slim one, danced into the room. Long legs and swaying hips moved in time to the song playing. Slow, deliberate, sensual.
She made her way in the dimly lit room to where Sly sat. She straddled him and proceeded to gyrate and grind against him. She got up and turned her back to him, shedding clothes as she did so.
Someone turned off the television.
The evening passed in a haze of smoke, alcohol fumes, music and flesh.
Alcohol flowed from the bottles lined on the coffee table we had pushed to a corner. More drinks came out of the ice cooler in the other corner of the room, and Wale’s killer punch floated in from the kitchen in red cups. Borne in the hands of inebriated guests.
At some point, a couple more girls joined us. I think Tega invited a friend who brought another couple of friends along. It didn’t matter; it was all good.
We had a few smokers among us and soon a low cloud of cigarette smoke was hanging over the room.
‘Come, make una carry una ciga go balcony go join the igbo smokers dia.’ I rounded them up and shooed them out. I wasn’t going to die from someone else’s secondhand smoke.
I went back into the kitchen to join Wale, and saw one of the girls was there with him.
‘What are you doing hiding out in the kitchen?’ I asked her.
‘I came for a refill,’ she said, ‘but decided to stay on for a little while longer.’
‘May I?’ I took her cup from her and half-filled it from the punch bowl.
‘Thank you.’ Her smile revealed white teeth which contrasted nicely with her dark skin. The glasses she wore gave her an owlish look, but there was nothing owlish about her bosom.
‘My name’s Bobo,’ I offered a hand which she took. I tugged gently and she rose from the crate she’d been sitting on.
‘Enchanted.’ I broke out the corniest response I could dig up.
I led her to a corner of the living room, to the chair I had come to think of as mine.
‘Careful there,’ I reached around her and took my phone from the seat where I left it. ‘It’s made of eggshell,’ I smiled.
She smiled back.
We spent the rest of the night talking. We were silent more than we spoke, and at some point she shivered.
‘Wanna go out where it’s warm?’
I pulled the sliding door open and we walked out onto the balcony. The heat hit in full blast, wrapping warm clammy fingers around us. She seemed to welcome it so I let myself welcome it too.
We sat out there on the air conditioning unit, an arm across her shoulder, her head on my chest. I don’t know how long we sat there, but when I felt her get heavy against me and her head begin to slide down my chest, I knew it was time to go back inside.
‘Yes. Very tired.’
‘Wanna go back in?’
She paused as if considering it. ‘Okay.’
We went in and found a free sofa where we sat side by side, her cuddled against me till the night passed.
My phone alarm went off at 4:30am. I moved to kill the alarm, and this woke her up.
‘What time is it?’ she asked.
‘Where’s the rest room?’
I got up and pointed her in the direction of the bathroom. I stood there for five minutes after she was gone contemplating my next move.
Would she come out and expect me to go and drop her off at home? Or would she ask to go home with me? Or will she understand that it was just the night and go her way like it didn’t happen? Did I want to wait and have that conversation with her?
I gathered my things together and put in my backpack, opened the suite door quietly so as not to wake up the others sleeping, and stole away in the breaking dawn.